Michael Schenker Refuses To Be Called As ‘European Eddie Van Halen’
Former Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker recently joined The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn for an interview. The rocker expressed that he refuses to be known as the European equivalent of late Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
The prominent guitarist Michael Schenker has been active in the music scene since the early ’60s and still performs and records. Known as a legendary figure in the history of metal guitar, he was a massive influence on many great rock and metal guitarists, including Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, Slash, and according to him, Eddie Van Halen.
Michael Schenker is generally referred to as the European version of Eddie Van Halen by various sources, critics, and fans. Mike Brunn asked Schenker whether he likes to be known that way or refuses to be called so in a recent interview. In his response, Schenker said that Eddie Van Halen was influenced by him, as the late guitarist once admitted.
Historically, Van Halen supported UFO years prior to their breakthrough, which meant Schenker came before him. He then praised Eddie’s guitar playing, although he didn’t listen to music at that time. Moreover, Schenker said Van Halen’s debut album was played everywhere, so it wasn’t a surprise that he knew of them.
When asked about being the ‘European version of EVH,’ Schenker said:
“No, but the funny thing is that Eddie Van Halen got influenced by me. He actually said that. Actually, Van Halen was supporting UFO at the Starwood in Los Angeles. I don’t know what year it was, but it was in the early days, probably five years before Van Halen came out. No matter what, I love his guitar playing even though I didn’t listen to music in general over all these years.
The first Van Halen album was played everywhere in Europe. I mean, I went on holiday, and it was coming out of everywhere, so you couldn’t run away from it. The guitar player was fabulous. I never knew how he was doing what he was doing. Later on, when I found out, it took away a little bit of the impact. But he definitely had rhythm, melody, technique, and everything.”
You can watch the full interview below.